Learn how to make this Japanese family favourite, Spaghetti Napolitan! Made with sausage, bell peppers, onion and mushrooms cooked in a sweet ketchup sauce, mixed with perfectly cooked, el dente pasta and topped with a fried egg.
What is Spaghetti Napolitan?
Spaghetti Napolitan (スパゲッティナポリタン) is a classic Japanese style "wafu pasta" dish. It's easy to make and you can use accessible ingredients such as sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions served in a simple ketchup sauce.
It's easily one of the most popular pasta dishes in Japan, often being served at home, in cafes and at "yoshoku" restaurants for instance. You can even buy a premade sauce at the supermarket!
Like spicy foods? It's also popular to add a few drops of Tabasco sauce to kick it up a notch!
Yoshoku (Western Style)
Yoshoku (洋食) is a type of Japanese dish with Western influence and flavour. In fact, many yoshoku recipes contain ketchup. Other examples of yoshoku dishes include:
- Hayashi Rice (Hashed beef stew with rice)
- Curry Rice (Gravy-like curry with rice)
- Hamburg steak (Thick meat patty often served with a demi-glace sauce)
- Omurice (Ketchup rice wrapped in a fluffy omelette)
I'd say that Spaghetti Napolitan is pretty much a pasta version of omurice, so if you like omurice, I'm sure you'll love this dish!
A brief history of Spaghetti Napolitan
While the name "Spaghetti Napolitan" might sound like an Italian dish, actually, this ketchup infused pasta dish is a Japanese creation! I mean, Italians would never use ketchup on their pasta would they?
It is said that Spaghetti Napolitan started in Yokohama. It was created by a chef named Shigetada Irie, who was working at the Hotel New Grand. He was inspired by a tomato sauce flavoured spaghetti dish that was served to the American Military. However, because tomato sauce was hard to come by at the time, he replaced it with ketchup and Spaghetti Napolitan was born!
The dish was named after the Italian city of Napoli, known as Naples in English. In Japanese, you write Napoli as "ナポリ" or "Napori", which is why you often see the name written as "Spaghetti Naporitan".
Japan is a nation of pasta lovers and we have a whole array of dishes that combine Italian Pasta with local Japanese ingredients. We call these dishes "Wafu Pasta" (和風パスタ) which translates to "Japanese style pasta". Check out some of my tasty wafu pasta dishes!